All Things Clementine

Freshly picked selection:

Clementine

The clementine is a member of the Mandarin orange family.  They are typically small in size but can grow to be the size of a grapefruit.  They have a loose skin that makes them easy to peel and are typically seedless.  Their flavor is sweeter than that of an orange but also a bit more tart.

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose clementines that have a smooth, bright orange skin.  Avoid the fruits with shriveled skin and those with dark spots.

How to store:

Fresh clementines should be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks.  Once they begin to look dry and their skin parched, they are no longer fresh.

Varieties:

Clementines are a variety of Mandarin orange.  Tangerines also fall into this category.  You can find them fresh or canned.

Nutritional Benefit:

Recipes:

Clementines can be used for more than just peeling and snacking!  Check out these mouth-watering recipes below.

Make a healthy salad out of different varieties of oranges and tangerines and a pop of color with pomegranate.

Citrus and Pomegranate Salad

We are always up for some baked goods. This recipe looks absolutely delicious, not to mention gluten free.

Gluten Free Clementine Cake

Instead of the typical orange sorbet, use a sweet clementine to make a scrumptious sweet & tangy sorbet.

Clementine Sorbet

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“Clementines are a staple in my household.  They make the perfect snack for my two year old and a treat when I am craving something sweet.”

-Stefanie Gates, Chef, Culinary Advisor, & mom

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Soy: What You Should Know

Soy is a controversial topic in today’s wellness world. It is touted for its health benefits by some health experts, while simultaneously being deemed a health risks by others. Here is what you need know:What is Soy?

Soy (soybean) is a legume that has been cultivated and consumed for thousands of years in China and as of more recently, has become popular in the US.  Often times soy is considered the “go to” protein source for vegetarians and vegans and a dairy free alternative for those allergic, sensitive, or intolerant to cow’s milk.

Soy-Based Foods

Soy-based foods come in a variety of forms from whole to highly processed. Whole soybeans (edamame) and soy nut butter can be found at most grocery stores. Minimally processed soy products include soy milk, soy flour, tofu, and fermented soy (miso, tempeh and soy sauce) are also common. Processed soy can be found in plant-based burgers, sausage, cheese, protein bars and protein powders, and also as textured soy protein.

Health Benefits

Let’s start by discussing the health benefits of soy. Soy is a complete source of protein and provides us with essential fatty acids (omega-3 & omega-6), fiber, minerals (magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese), and phytonutrients (plant chemicals) called isoflavones. Additionally, soy has natural anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties meant to protect the plant, and which may also be beneficial to humans.

Fermented soy products are often perceived as healthier than non-fermented soy foods, and the fermentation process seems to increase the total available protein and bioactive compounds and reduce anti-nutrients naturally found in soy. In addition, fermentation of soy with lactic acid bacteria and probiotic yeast significantly increases its antioxidant activity. Fermented soy may also play a role in preventing type 2 diabetes as studies suggest that it may improve insulin sensitivity.

Controversies and Research

Let’s take a look at some of the controversies surrounding soy and the related research. This is by no means and exhaustive list, but it highlights some of the more popular topics:

  • Thyroid– There is concern about whether soy foods act as goitrogens or disrupt thyroid function in any way. Early research suggests that soy isoflavones interfere with the enzymes required for thyroid hormone synthesis. However there appeared to be no associated adverse effect on circulating thyroid hormone, thyroid weight, or thyroid tissue. Animal research does demonstrate significant unfavorable anti-thyroid effects from defatted soybean consumption (not soy isoflavones) if iodine deficiency is present. Researchers conclude that a combination of individual and other dietary goitrogenic factors may be involved. So, their recommendation is to limit/avoid raw or sprouted soy due to its potential goitrogenic effects. Cooking, however, will deactivate most goitrogens.

A Japanese study reported “hypometabolic symptoms (malaise, constipation, sleepiness)” and goiter in subjects consuming soy for three months and noted that symptoms disappeared when soy was eliminated for one month. Though, it is not clear if the study used raw or cooked soybean and full text is not readily available. A comprehensive 2006 review of the literature ultimately finds little to no evidence soy or soy isoflavones put forth negative effects in healthy, iodine-replete individuals. Functional medicine expert Dr. Hyman, MD notes that it would take an exceedingly large amount of soy to disrupt thyroid function and that soy may only affect those with iodine deficiency.

Human studies on thyroid restrictions appear to be inconclusive. Research on isolated soy protein suggests that 56 mg daily intake of soy isoflavones (from isolated soy protein) promoted increased free thyroxine index and T4 levels over time while a 90 mg/d dose was associated with increased thyroid stimulating hormone and increased T3 over time. Ultimately researchers concluded that the small effects soy protein may have on thyroid hormone levels are likely to be clinically insignificant.

  • Cancer– Currently, soy is being researched for its potential role in fighting breast, colon, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers. Although the evidence that soy may reduce risk of colon, lung, and prostate cancer is limited, the evidence is somewhat stronger for breast and prostate cancer prevention.
  • Cardiovascular Disease– relating to cardiovascular disease, research suggested that large amounts (~50 grams per day) of soy protein, given in place of animal protein, could reduce total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides reducing cardiovascular risk. However, of course, it’s important to keep in mind that reducing blood cholesterol may not reduce risk of cardiovascular disease so clinical effects and outcomes may be insignificant.

The FDA is currently reevaluating the claim though ongoing research suggests that soy (especially soy protein and isoflavones) may have additional beneficial effects on cardiovascular health including reduction of diastolic blood pressure, slowing atherosclerotic progression, and improvement of endothelial function.

  • Genetically Engineered Soy-Lastly, we can’t forget to mention that approximately 90% of soy today is genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate and other herbicides.

There is concern that genetically engineered crops may have negative health effects (such as tumors, liver and kidney damage, digestive issues, etc.). The potential for increasing allergenicity is another concern regarding these crops.

  • Anti-Nutrients- In its raw form, soy contains anti-nutrients that can bind with minerals, interfere with digestion, and disrupt organ function. However, it should be noted that many of these elements are neutralized when soy is cooked, processed, or fermented.

Bottom Line

So, what’s the truth? As of yet, there is no definitive answer. There have been thousands (yes, thousands) of studies done on soy and its effects on humans, human cells, and animals. While soy has been praised for its role in the prevention of conditions like heart disease, menopausal symptoms and breast cancer, it has been criticized for its role in disrupting thyroid function, endocrine balance and reproduction.

Overall, research suggests soy may inhibit and induce specific enzyme function, act as an antioxidant, support glutathione and detoxification pathways, inhibit actions helping control tumor growth, and support neurotransmitter metabolism.

The bottom line is that when it comes to soy consumption, quality and moderation are important. It is best to choose organic, non-GMO whole soy products and limit soy consumption to no more than 1-2 servings per day. Fermented soy may be tolerated better than non-fermented due to the increased bioavailability of nutrients and reduction in anti-nutrients.


Resources:

Kennedy AR. The Bowman-Birk inhibitor from soybeans as an anticarcinogenic agent. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Dec;68(6 Suppl):1406S-1412S. Review. PubMed PMID: 9848508. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/68/6/1406S.long . Accessed December 15 2017.

Messina M. A brief historical overview of the past two decades of soy and isoflavone research. J Nutr. 2010 Jul;140(7):1350S-4S. doi: 10.3945/jn.109.118315. Epub 2010 May 19. Review. PubMed PMID: 20484551. http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=20484551

Phares EH. Straight talk about soy. Harvard School of Public Health. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2014/02/12/straight-talk-about-soy/ . Posted February 12, 2014. Accessed December 15 2017.

Barrett JR. The science of soy: what do we really know? Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Jun;114(6):A352-8. PubMed PMID: 16759972. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480510/ . Accessed December 15 2017.

Persky VW, Turyk ME, Wang L, et al. Effect of soy protein on endogenous hormones in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jan;75(1):145-53. Erratum in: Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Sep;76(3):695. PubMed PMID: 11756072. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/75/1/145.long  Accessed December 15 2017.

Hyman M. How Soy Can Kill You and Save Your Life. http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/08/06/how-soy-can-kill-you-and-save-your-life/ . Last updated February 25, 2013. Accessed December 16, 2017.

Doerge DR, Sheehan DM. Goitrogenic and estrogenic activity of soy isoflavones. Environ Health Perspect. 2002 Jun;110 Suppl 3:349-53. Review. PubMed PMID: 12060828.

Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature. Thyroid. 2006 Mar;16(3):249-58. Review. PubMed PMID: 16571087.

Anderson RL, Wolf WJ. Compositional changes in trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid, saponins and isoflavones related to soybean processing. J Nutr. 1995 Mar;125(3 Suppl):581S-588S. Review. PubMed PMID: 7884537. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/125/3_Suppl/581S.long . Accessed December 16, 2017.

Liener IE, Goodale RL, Deshmukh A, et al. Effect of a trypsin inhibitor from soybeans (Bowman-Birk) on the secretory activity of the human pancreas. Gastroenterology. 1988 Feb;94(2):419-27. PubMed PMID: 2446949.

National Toxicology Program US Department of Health and Human Services Report:

NTP-CERHR EXPERT PANEL REPORT on the REPRODUCTIVE and DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY of SOY FORMULA. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/ohat/genistein-soy/soyformula/soy-report-final.pdf . Accessed December 16, 2017.

Bayer CropScience. LibertyLink Soybeans. https://www.bayercropscience.us/products/traits/libertylink/crops . Accessed December 16, 2017.

62 Monsanto. http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/roundup-ready-patent-expiration.aspx . Accessed December 16, 2017.

Samsel, Anthony, and Stephanie Seneff. “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases.” Entropy 15.4 (2013). http://groups.csail.mit.edu/sls/archives/root/publications/2013/Seneff_Entropy-15-01416.pdf . Accessed December 16, 2017.

Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalance and Hospitalizations. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db10.htm . Updated January 19, 2010. Accessed December 16, 2017.2015.


Basilia Theofilou is a contributor on our blog as well as one of the nutrition advisors here at PreviMedica. You can read more about her here.

Nourished Kids: Homemade Cheese Dip

Encouraging kids to eat their vegetables can be a daily struggle. Often times, we let our kids dip their veggies in something such as ketchup or the fake “cheese” sold in grocery stores. If your kids resist eating vegetables, this sauce is perfect. It takes about 10 minutes to make and your little ones can dip to their hearts content.  Not to mention you can feel good about knowing that there is absolutely nothing artificial about it!

Homemade Cheese Dip

Makes 1 cup of cheese dip

Written By: Stefanie Gates

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. unbleached whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup milk + splash of milk if needed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (preferably shredded from the block, not pre-shredded)

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat.  Sprinkle the flour over the butter and whisk constantly until a roux has formed (the flour and butter will mix and create somewhat of a paste).  Do not let it cook too long!  You don’t want to roux to darken.
  2. Add the milk and whisk constantly until the milk thickens.  This will take about 30 seconds.
  3. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the cheese.  Whisk until the cheese has melted and add in splashed of milk as needed to thin the mixture.  Turn off the heat as soon as the cheese has melted.
  4. Let cool and serve as a delicious dip for chicken nuggets, vegetables, etc.

Stefanie Gates, chef, is a regular contributor to our blog and culinary advisor for PreviMedica. She enjoys developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. Her main recipe tester is her 2 year old son.  You can learn more about her here.

Previ Culinary: Honey Almond Chicken

To us, simple ingredients are the best ingredients and they should always equate to delicious. This honey almond chicken is all of this and more. It contains only five ingredients and couldn’t be easier to make. Even your kids will love it! Gluten free, grain free, and dairy free, this chicken is a delectable topper to a hearty salad or an entree to serve with lots of roasted veggies and simple smashed potatoes.

Honey Almond Chicken

Adapted from: http://www.scdrecipe.com/recipes-chicken/oven-fried-honey-chicken/

Serves: 6

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups almond flour/crushed almonds
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a shallow bowl, whisk together honey, vinegar and wine. Pour almond flour into separated bowl. Set bowls aside.
  3. Spread oil over foil-lined baking pan large enough to hold all chicken pieces in one layer.
  4. Roll chicken pieces in honey mixture, then in almond flour; place in pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly.


 

 

Stefanie Gates, chef, is a regular contributor to our blog and a culinary advisor for PreviMedica. She enjoys developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about her here.

The Connection Between Sleep and Health

sleepWe’re taking a break from the nutrition-related posts today to talk about an element of health and wellness that is often overlooked or just plain ignored: sleep!

Although we’ve all heard of “8” being the magic sleep number, your ideal sleep time may fall anywhere between 7 to 9 hours. Unfortunately as we all know too well, there are many life distractions that make it less likely for us to meet our sleep needs: work, family life, household chores, and other priorities (ahem, like your next Netflix binge). To top it all off, even when we do make it to bed at a decent time, some of us may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to stress or sleep disorders. According the National Sleep Foundation, 67 percent of Americans are sleep-deprived or have sleep disorders. That means that 2/3 of the people in your office right now are wishing for more sleep (maybe even you?)

So what’s the big deal with sleep anyway? With a little coffee, most people get by just fine, right? Not exactly… especially not in the long term. Among the many conditions that inadequate sleep time and quality has been linked to are weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. How? Lack of sleep can increase ghrelin levels, which are the hormones that stimulate appetite. Research is also being done on how sleep deprivation can increase our intake of unhealthy foods by changing our brain activity. And, too little sleep disrupts circadian rhythms which may increase the risk of insulin resistance (in turn increasing the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes).

The moral of this story is that sleep is important to our health. The risks mentioned above are serious, but even in the short term, many of us have noticed how lack of sleep affects us: less focus, moodiness, memory issues, the list goes on. And you may already know this! Most of us do, and we are really trying to get more sleep. But life gets in the way, and we understand that too. Here are some steps you can take to improve your sleep:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
  • Avoid caffeine after noon. It can linger in the body for hours, preventing sleep. If you need an afternoon pick me up, take a quick 10-minute walk, have a balanced snack, or drink a glass of cold water (with citrus and/or mint for an extra boost).
  • Limit alcohol and large meals, especially late in the evenings, since they can cause you to wake in the middle of the night.
  • Exercise daily. Studies show that regular exercisers report getting better sleep.
  • Make your bedroom a tech-free zone. Keep phones, tablets, and all other gadgets in another room. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, get an alarm clock instead!
  • Wind down before bed. Spend the hour before going to bed doing a calming activity, like reading, journaling, taking a bath, or listening to quiet music. If you find that watchingTV or being on your phone keeps you awake, avoid these activities right before bed.
  • If you can’t sleep, get up and do a quiet activity in another room for 20-30 minutes.

If you are constantly struggling with sleepless nights, it would be best to speak to your physician and/or a sleep professional to help you find the underlying source.


References:
National Sleep Foundation, How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? and Annual Sleep in America Poll
GALLUP Dec.5-8, 2013
Patel SR. Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Nov 15;164(10):947-54
Taheri S. PLoS Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):e62 St-Onge MP. Am J ClinNutr. 2011 Aug;94(2):410-6 St-Onge MP. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Mar; 38(3): 411–416
GreerSM..Nat Commun. 2013 Aug 6; 4: 2259 Schmid SM.Am J ClinNutr. 2009 Dec;90(6):1476-82 Bromley LE.Sleep. 2012 Jul 1;35(7):977-84 Shi SQ. Curr Biol. 2013 Mar 4;23(5):372-81 Kristen L. KnutsonA. N Y Acad Sci. 2008; 1129: 287–304 Kristen L. Knutson A. Sleep Med Rev. 2007 Jun; 11(3): 163–178.

Previ Culinary: Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

Try something different with cauliflower and make soup! This recipe is easy, healthy, and will warm your tummy on even the coldest of days. Not to mention, cauliflower is packed with nutrients to keep those germs at bay during cold and flu season.

 

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup

(Adapted from: http://www.honestbody.com)

Serves:

Ingredients:

  • 10 – 15 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 7 Tbsp. ghee
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 c. homemade chicken stock

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide the cauliflower into florets.
  3. Put the cauliflower pieces and unpeeled garlic into a large bowl.
  4. Melt 3 Tbsp. of ghee in a saucepan and pour over vegetables. Stir to coat.
  5. Pour vegetables into shallow roasting pan and roast for 30 – 40 minutes.
  6. In a large soup pot, melt the remaining butter/coconut oil and sauté’ the onions until soft.
  7. Stir in the dried basil, add the stock and bring to a boil.
  8. Put the roasted vegetables in the pot.
  9. Peel the garlic and add as well.
  10. Blend with immersion blender and cook for another 5 minutes.


Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

All Things Oregano

Freshly picked selection:

Oregano

Oregano is a member of the mint family and related to marjoram and thyme. It’s similar to marjoram but not as sweet and has a stronger taste and aroma.

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose bunches that are bright green and show no signs of wilting or brown/yellowing leaves.

How to store:

Fresh oregano should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to 3 days. Dried oregano should be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.

Varieties:

There are two main varieties of oregano, Mediterranean and Mexican. The Mexican variety is much more pungent, so it’s not used as often as Mediterranean which has a milder taste.

Nutritional Benefit:

Recipes:

Oregano is most often found in Greek food. It is the main herb in this easy chicken recipe from ChefDe Home.

Chicken Souvlaki

Oregano pairs very well with fish in this recipe from Sass & Veracity that could easily be adapted to any kind of mild white fish.

Roasted Branzino with Lemon Oregano & Capers

It is also a staple ingredient in tasty chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri can be made with either variety of oregano and makes a great sauce or marinade for chicken, beef, or fish.

Chimichurri Sauce

If you want to try out the Mexican variety, check out this flavored-packed stew from Cooks & Kid

New Mexico Green Chili Stew 

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“I love to add oregano to roasted spaghetti sauce with marinara sauce to give that classic pizza taste.”

Megan Huard, Chef RD

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

PreviMedica’s Guide to Gluten Free Grains

Gluten free is becoming a way of life for many due to an increased awareness and modern day testing. Those who are avoiding gluten are looking for ways of making delicious food without the concern of gluten, and using grains that are naturally gluten free is the answer.  Most of the grains and seeds that are becoming so prevalent have been around for thousands of years, yet they are only now becoming popular in the United States.  For example, millet has mostly been known as the main ingredient in birdseed – but did you know that it is a gluten free grain that you can cook and eat just like rice?  Read on to learn more about each gluten free grain that you are likely seeing on your grocery store shelves.

 

 

References:

Babcock, Christine. “Teff: The Gluten-Free Grain That Aids Circulation & Weight Loss.” Dr. Axe, 21 June 2017, draxe.com/teff/.

“13 Amazing Benefits of Manganese.” Organic Facts, 27 Oct. 2017, www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/minerals/health-benefits-of-manganese.html.

“Sorghum June Grain of the Month.” Sorghum June Grain of the Month | The Whole Grains Council, wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/easy-ways-enjoy-whole-grains/grain-month-calendar/sorghum-june-grain-month.

“7 Surprising Benefits of Sorghum.” Organic Facts, 1 Nov. 2017, www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/cereal/sorghum.html.

“Quinoa.” Quinoa, The World’s Healthiest Foods, www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142.

“11 Amazing Benefits of Amaranth Grain.” Organic Facts, 8 Nov. 2017, www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/cereal/amaranth-grain.html.

Pulsipher, Charlie. “13 Health Benefits of the Superfood Amaranth.” Sunwarrior, Sunwarrior, 15 May 2017, sunwarrior.com/healthhub/11-health-benefits-of-amaranth.

“All About Amaranth.” USA Emergency Supply, www.usaemergencysupply.com/information-center/all-about/all-about-whole-grains/all-about-amaranth.

“Buckwheat.” Buckwheat, www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=11.

“Millet.” Millet, www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=53.

 


Stefanie Gates, chef, is a regular contributor to our blog and culinary advisor for PreviMedica. She enjoys developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. Her main recipe tester is her 2 year old son.  You can learn more about her here.

All Things Jalapeño

Freshly picked selection:

Jalapeño

Jalapeños are a dark green chili and range in heat from hot to very hot. The flesh tends to be more mild with the seeds packing most of the heat.

What to look for when purchasing:

They are available fresh and canned. When purchasing fresh be sure to get ones with firm, dark green skin and no blemishes.

How to store:

They can be stored at room temperate for a few days or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

How to prepare:

Jalapeños are typically sliced/diced and added to savory dishes. They can be eaten raw or cooked. The skin tends to have a milder heat, whereas the veins and seeds are hot. When preparing, you can remove the seeds if you do not want the heat. Be sure to wash your hands well with soapy, hot water after handling them.

Nutritional Benefit:

Recipes:

Jalapeños work in just about any dish for some added heat. They make a great addition to this slow cooker soup.

Creamy Slow Cooker Potato Corn Soup

This recipe is a great way to highlight jalapeños in an easy one-pan dish.

Jalapeño Shrimp & Veggie Bake

Like things a little more on the spicy side? Check out this kicked-up hummus with jalapeños.

Spicy Green Hummus

We can’t talk jalapeño without mentioning salsa, of course. Jalapeño is the star in this salsa verde recipe from Chef Savvy.

Salsa Verde

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“I love the idea of a jalapeño classic “the popper” but they are usually loaded with dairy and high in calories. But did you know you can easily switch out some ingredients for a healthy twist on the original? Try using Kite Hill cream cheese and Daiya shredded cheese for a dairy free version.”

Megan Huard, Chef RD

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

All Things Pomegranate

Freshly picked selection:

Pomegranate

Pomegranate is one of, if not the most, labor intensive fruits to eat as the inside has hundreds of seeds packed in compartments.

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose those that are heavy for their size and have a bright fresh color. You also want the skin to be blemish-free.

How to store:

Refrigerate up to 2 months or store in a cool, dark place for up to a month. Once the seeds have been removed, they must be refrigerated and eaten within a few days.

How to prepare:

To eat, start by cutting the fruit in half and removing the pulp-encased seeds. From there you can separate the pulp from the seeds to use. Some people place the pulp with seeds in a bowl of cool water to make it easier to separate. The seeds can be eaten as a fruit, used as a garnish, or made into juice.

Nutritional Benefit:

Recipes:

Pomegranate seeds can be used in savory or sweet dishes, making them pretty flexible.

The View From Great Island keeps it simple and adds them to roasted Brussels sprouts for some added freshness.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate

With their tangy flavor, pomegranate seeds make for a great salad dressing or salad topping.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

For a more savory dish option, pomegranates add a pop of color and flavor to this beautiful quinoa salad.

Turmeric Quinoa with Pomegranates & Walnuts 

And of course, we have to include a dessert for these sweet little morsels. Pomegranate pairs extremely well with chocolate in this easy-to-make treat.

Chocolate Tahini Mousse with Pomegranate & Pistachios

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“I love to sprinkle them on top of salads for a little extra crunch and flavor”

– Megan Huard, Chef RD

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

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